Today, B2B buyers look for products, services and solutions online. It doesn’t matter what industry you're in; if what you're selling is a considered purchase, you can bet that the chief decision-maker will be doing plenty of research before making a purchase. And that means she or he will be looking online. In fact, 87% of buyers say online content has a major impact on vendor preference.
Plenty of companies think theirs defies this trend – that their prospects aren't searching online. But look at your own behaviors: as an industrial service company looking for a new construction partner, where are you looking – in the phone book? We didn't think so.
Inbound marketing makes sense in today’s world because the buyer is in control. People aren’t taking calls from sales people; they’re driving the purchasing process themselves.
They’re going on Google and looking for answers. They’re deciding when they want to engage. They’re deciding when they want to listen—when they want to learn. They’re doing it on their terms.
So, when they have an issue—when they have a challenge—they want to learn more about, they go to Google. Think about the way you look for solutions or try to find products or services that could serve very specific and complicated needs you might have. Your first response will be to go to Google and start to learn about the potential providers of the goods or services you're looking for.
People aren’t taking calls from salespeople; they’re looking for answers. They’re looking for technology and people who have ideas and solutions that fit the challenges they’re facing. So, when they’re driving the process, if you’re not visible to them—if you don’t turn up in search—you’re going to miss being on their shortlist. And that’s the challenge for today’s marketer; it’s to have your company on the short list of every prospect that fits their target persona.
Posted by Greg Linnemanstons With 18+ years in senior management roles at Fortune 500® and medium-sized companies, Greg has deep marketing and sales experience with CPGs and manufacturing. He leads strategic initiatives with clients and is involved in developing client inbound marketing plans. Greg holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and a B.A. in Economics from Lawrence University.